Blog

17/11/2022

Empower your employees for frictionless customer service

The customer service representatives may interact with the customer less due to self-service but become more in focus when something unexpected happens. Are they empowered to provide the frictionless service customers expect?

Customer service has become a differentiator for companies. The need to meet customer expectations while doing more with less has heightened in the last few years. According to Salesforce State of-service report this has lead to increased innovation in customer service to meet this demand.

Whenever we hear the word “seamless”, we generally think of processes. When a company has seamless customer service processes, we consider that they are working efficiently and that it is effortless for the customer to engage with customer service.

As customer service moves towards a more automated world, you would think that the role of a customer service representative would become more redundant, but it is quite the opposite. The role comes more into focus.

Taking contact

Once upon a time, customers would interact with customer service right from the beginning of the customer journey. With the advent of self-service, the point of interaction between the customer service representatives and the customer has extended further along the process.

The customer journey now starts from a self-service portal seamlessly guiding the customer through the task they want to act to the finish line. But what happens if the customer cannot proceed to the end? That is right, they contact an actual person.

I want to lead you through a very simple scenario with two outcomes:

The scenario:

You have started to solve an issue you have through a self-service portal only to find you need help finding the answer. You look at ways to contact customer service, choose the option that best fits your issue, and request a callback. A few minutes later the customer service representative calls and you explain your issue which takes a while. During the call, it becomes apparent that you have called the wrong department. Once you have finished your explanation, you arrive at the customer service crossroads. They have listened intently to your question, and now they have the decision to make:

Route 1:

The customer service representative advises that the best way would be for you to end this call and make a new request to the correct department. They can best help you in this situation.

Route 2:

The customer service representative explains that even though you have come through to the wrong department, he or she will contact the correct department, explain the issue to them and transfer the call through so you can be assisted in the best way possible.

Now, let’s analyse this a little.

Route to resolution

The scenario is very generic, and there could be many routes to resolution. Still, the main point is there is a right and wrong way to deal with these scenarios. Picking the correct one will elevate the customer experience from seamless to frictionless.

As stated in the Salesforce report, connecting with customers, showing empathy and understanding their unique needs is a key differentiator in providing superior customer service. Customers want to avoid being bound by inflexible policies. They do not want to be treated like a number. This is where your company ambassadors (i.e., customer service representatives) rise to the occasion.

Customer service representatives are well-drilled in processes by their operations team. As the customer journey has expanded into self-service, they know how the customer journey proceeds and how the customer maneuvers through to a successful outcome. But the main question is are they empowered enough to tackle the out-of-the-ordinary when things do not go seamlessly? Can they – in seconds – decipher where things have gone wrong in the process and how they can help the customer to a successful outcome?

Empower your employees

As I mentioned at the start of this article, the customer service representatives interact with the customer less but become more in focus. They are making or breaking the interaction with the customer, not at the start but near the end. Many things have happened between the start of the customer journey and now.

You generally cannot script all different kinds of interaction. Still, you can provide the customer service representative with the tools to reach a successful outcome which sends the customer away with a happy experience. You will never have a bulletproof process, but you can empower your customer service representatives to handle a meaningful interaction when the focus is very much on them.

As interaction with traditional customer service becomes less, the value of the customer service representative increases. A customer service representative can make or break the experience for the customer. Are you empowering yours?

With Salesforce technology Fluido is building customer service solutions for the whole customer journey, and we pay attention to the power of the customer service representative in these solutions. Contact us now to discuss how we can elevate your customer service experience. 

Andrew Hainsworth

Service Cloud Practice Lead

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